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RSS feeds are a great way to keep up to date with your favorite websites without getting overwhelmed. RSS feeds are quick summaries of the content available on a website. If a website were a newspaper, RSS feeds would be all of the headlines.

The first thing to do with RSS feeds is to figure out a way to organize them. The easiest way to get started is to use the free service “Reader” from – who else – Google.

Head on over to google.com/reader and log in with your Google or Gmail account. (If you don’t have a Google or Gmail account, now is the time to get one.) Once you are signed in, Reader will ask you for the location of your feeds.

Visit your favorite website and look for a link or page called “Feeds” or “RSS” or “RSS Feeds.” Typically these links are located at the top or bottom of the webpage. If you are having trouble finding the link, use your browser’s “Find on this page” feature and enter “rss”. You can also search Google; try a query like “money.com rss feeds” or “CNN rss feeds”.

You are looking for a link that takes you to a webpage that looks like the following (it won’t look like a regular webpage):

Title of Item 1
Date, Time
One or two lines describing item 1.

Title of Item 2
Date, Time
One or two lines describing item 2.

(See an example of how this page will look here.)

Copy the address of this link to your clipboard. Head back over to Google reader and paste the link into the “Add a new feed” section. If all goes well you will see the site listed on the left. Click on it to show the current feeds from the site. You can now browse the content currently coming from this site.

Add more feeds that are relevant to your interests. Again, this is a great way to see fresh content from your sites all in one place.

If you have a Smartphone, you can install apps that will synchronize the feeds from your Google reader account. This is a great way to keep up with new content on the go. If you have an Android device, I like “Newsrob”. If you have an iPhone, I like “NewsRack”.

Google has a great tutorial located here about RSS feeds and Google reader. Give it a try today and start keeping up with all of your favorite sites.

The feed for the WesTechs blog is located here. Add it to your RSS reader today to keep up with the latest blog entries from WesTechs.